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Nightmare Fuel / The Edge Chronicles

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  • The Deepwoods can kill you in a million ways, each more terrifying than the last. Special mention goes to the rotsucker, which traps you in a cocoon while you're sleeping and digests you alive.
    • In general, everything that happens to Twig in the first book. Everything. The scenes when he is very nearly eaten might be the most upsetting. Of the few friendly faces he meets, one grows up into a bloodthirsty termagant trog, one is eaten alive, and the others - let it suffice that they are not what they seem.
    • He was nearly eaten alive three times in that book, at least. The Bloodoak tree came the closest, almost crushing the life out of him, complete with one Riddell's drawings. There were also the Wig-Wigs, and then almost immediately afterwards, when Twig finds an apparently safe sleeping place, the Rotsucker comes, and is arguably the most disturbing of the lot. Imagine going to sleep somewhere comfy and harmless, and waking up sealed in an airless shell partly full of poisonous acids. Sweet dreams.
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  • The death of Amberfuce, boiled alive, and to some extent the deaths of the goblin leaders. Overall the series is heavy, heavy on this.
  • The Gloamgloazer, more terrifying than any other monster because it's cleverer than you are.
  • The glister, which forces its way into your head and sucks your consciousness out of you, with accompanying illustration by Chris Riddell.
  • The reality-altering Twilight Woods, a forest which gradually drives you insane and will never let you die. Anyone who enters it becomes immortal as long as they remain there, which isn't so peachy if you're so crazy that you can't remember who/where you are. Also, you get to stay alive while your body decays. Sweet dreams, children. A memorable occurrence in Stormchaser has the Professor of Light break his neck and survive, not feeling pain. They have to hold his neck in place with a stick and some rope.
    • Chris Riddell's illustrations for the Twilight woods include two knights who fell victim to this, which makes it far creepier. Here's one. You are really going to wish that Garlinius kept his helmet down.
    • It's mentioned in the introduction to each novel that for travellers who get lost in the Edgelands, the lucky ones will fall off the side of the Edge while the unlucky ones will end up in the Twilight Woods. In this universe, falling off the side of a cliff and plummeting to your death is considered preferable to ending up in the Twilight Woods.
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    • To your death? Before The Reveal it was implied that you'd fall forever until you simply starved.
  • If the concepts and writing are scary, Chris Riddell's illustrations add a large exponent to the fear. There is no such thing as Gory Discretion.
  • Screed Toe-Taker. If not for his habit of murdering travellers for their toes, there's the way he gets them to trust him first, and then kills them when they're in the middle of the mire and have nowhere to escape to. And it's only made worse by the fact that he used to be a knight before he Jumped Off The Slippery Slope. His scenes in The Winter Knights are downright chilling if you already know what he became later.
  • The Shrykes vivisect, torture and cannibalize anyone who stands in their way in the blink of an eye, be it in battle or out of leisure. All told in graphic detail. In battle, their berserk rages contribute to some of the most horrific acts of violence in the entire series.
    • Their Berserk Button is eye contact. Look them in the eye for so much as a fraction of a second, even by accident, and they will kill you on the spot. On the Mire Road, shryke guards bash travelers' heads in for this "offense" so frequently that there are blood spots along every few feet of the road.
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  • The Rock Demons. They were never seen or described in any real detail in the story itself , although Chris Riddle obligingly provides some illustrations. They live in the ravine in Screetown, and eat the innocent victims the guardians feed them. Based on the description, they eat them alive. And then the guardians planned to release them into the sewers to slaughter every single librarian. The fact that it didn't go according to plan doesn't help much.
  • So let's combine the two, with some goblins. The conclusion of the Gambit Pileup in Vox sees the Goblins and the Shrikes butchering each other in the sewers under undertown, in one of the bloodiest fight scenes of the series, culminating in the survivors of both sides looking up to find the rock demons swarming them. Fortunately, the chapter ends before what follows in a rare example of a Gory Discretion Cut, although again, we are treated to a Lovely image of the carnage up to then.
  • The Foundry Glades. It never once occurred to Spume that maybe business would be better if he would just, you know, let his slaves live for more then a few weeks. What was the casualty rate again (granted it factors in the need of expansion)? 500 deaths a week?
  • In Vox, Amberfuce recollects all the bloody past that came after the stone sickness: the Guardians of the Night taking over Sanctaphrax, Vox striking a deal with them so they can kill all the merchants and earth librarians they could find in Undertown, Vox smuggling an army of goblins so he could enslave the population only for Tytugg to take over after and the road being now under the Shrykes' control.
  • The implications of the sickness that stormphrax miners suffer during the time of The Immortals - which is depicted as a hacking cough that releases a mist from the mouth. Stormphrax has nigh-miraculous properties allowing it to create pure water, and the human body is 60% water, among other things. Whatever the stormphrax is doing to the bodies of the miners, it cannot be good.


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